Evaluation of Knowledge, Psychological, Social and Economic Aspects of Covid-19 Pandemic among Dental Professionals- A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Maya Ramesh,
Professor, Department of Oral Pathology, Vinayaka Missions Sankarachariyar Dental College, Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation (Deemed to be University), Salem-636308, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Medical as well as dental professionals are always at an increased risk of contracting infections in pandemics. The novel Coronavirus (nCoV), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic is more contagious than other known members of Coronaviridae family.
Aim: This research aims to evaluate the knowledge, psychological, social, and economic aspects of COVID-19 pandemic among dental professionals using a closed-ended questionnaire study.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study with close ended questionnaire was planned. The questionnaire form was prepared in the Google platform after receiving ethical clearance, with 39 questions under the headings of General Information, Knowledge, Psychological aspects, and Social and Economic aspects. The questionnaire link was circulated among dental professionals known to the research team through Email, WhatsApp, and Messenger. A total of 504 dental professionals participated in this study in five days. Knowledge score was calculated, and psychological stress was calculated using Likert scale. Economic aspect was measured using yes/no answers. Data were entered in an excel sheet and the data obtained were statistically analysed using the SPSS software, version 11.5. Chi-square test was done to evaluate whether there is an association between knowledge score and demographic factors and p-value was obtained.
Results: There was almost equal gender distribution of respondents in the study. p-value obtained from chi-square test results correlating knowledge score with various demographic factors was not significant. A 59.9% of study participants were poorly informed on methods used to diagnose COVID-19 infection. A 44.4% of the respondents were psychologically stressed about infecting their family members and 72.22% were economically affected because of their profession. A 98.61% of the participants reported that they will wash their hands frequently, avoid crowded places and cancel travel plans in the near future.
Conclusion: The present study evaluated the knowledge, psychological, social and economic aspects of COVID-19 pandemic among dental professionals. We identified that there is an urgent need to intensify the knowledge on COVID-19 and also to give psychological, social and economic support to dental professionals.